Link ECU Build of the Week #11 – E30 Drift Car
Two Brothers, One Goal: To drift in every state of America.
This is how 50 States of Drift was born.
While shredding tires across the country, the Jakiela brothers came across a big obstacle towards achieving their goal. Trying to find information about smaller events in every state proved a difficult task. Not being in the ‘local’ circle made events hard to find and organisers hard to contact. The brothers were serious about competing in every state in their Formula Drift Spec E30, and decided to expand their original goal.
They set out to create a solution for other Drifter’s, with the 50 States of Drift Mission:
“To help grow and unify the USA grassroots drifting community through our all inclusive database, which includes every grassroots drift event nationwide, in an effort to help facilitate the connection of drivers (of all skill levels) with more events and drift organizations.”
We like it. We like it a lot!
Link ECU are huge supporters of Drift events worldwide, sponsoring a variety of grass roots events right through to the elite level: Formula Drift. Creating a clear path to the top of the sport is something we believe in, so that any talented Drifter can aim for the professional ranks of Motorsport. That is exactly what one of the Jakiela brothers, Dan, has his eyes set on. While Doug is heavily involved with operating the Drift Event Database and teams networking, Dan concentrates on building the team’s E30 coupe and driving it.
Purchased as a bone stock, run down car, the 1987 BMW E30 325 Coupe has come a long way. Almost everything has been mechanically modified.
Currently sitting up front is an Nissan RB25DET NEO engine making around 500 horsepower. The R34 engine is controlled by a NGTT PlugIn ECU. An Expansion harness allows for a MAP sensor, IAT sensor, flex fuel sensor, boost control and a fuel pressure sensor to all be added. All this makes for many, many features which help Dan out on track. Flex Fuel, cyclic idle, anti-lag and launch control all play a part in the engine management package. Also, two different maps can be used; one for FD ProAm Competition vs a Grassroots Event tune. They have even set up a Short Multi Corner Layout Tune, and a Long Sweeping Corner Layout Tune, to choose from depending on the track they are competing at.
The tuning was a joint effort between Dan and Sam Barros at Nostrum High Performance (using their DynoJet in Ann Arbor, MI).
Data from the ECU is relayed to the cockpit through a Microsoft Surface tablet.
Doug spoke a little more about the external modifications: “The exterior has been painted 4 times since we got it (3 coats of white for 2015-2019, 1 coat of Audi Merlin Purple for 2020). We have run 3 different wide body kits since purchasing as well as 4 different types of wheel (Racing Dynamics, ESM 001’s, ESM 004’s, and now 18in Apex SM-10’s). In terms of wide body kits: The 2018 kit was made in house, we then ran an ODP Widebody Kit in 2019, and now in 2020 we have an extremely rare custom kit (1/6 on earth) created by a Swedish fabricator & E30 specialist.”
The build really is a labour of love.
That doesn’t stop the boys from thrashing it while on track. Their event schedule for the remainder sf this year is jam-packed, including the No Star Bash at Drift Indy/Kilkare Raceway in Xenia, Ohio, Midwest Drift Union FD Pro-Am Shootout, and the North Dakota FD Pro-Am Shootout.
Follow the Brother’s journey on social media below, and check out the impressive full list of car specifications!
ENGINE SWAP AND BUILD INFO
· ENGINE SWAP: NISSAN RB25DET NEO (FROM AN R33 SKYLINE GTST)
· TURBO: BORG WARNER GTX3076R (WITH ELECTRONIC BOOST CONTROLLER)
· WASTE-GATE: FORGE MOTORSPORT LIQUID COOLED 50MM
· ECU & TUNE:
-LINKECU G4+ GTTLINK – NGTT+ STANDALONE ECU
-LINK ADAPTOR HARNESS (MASS AIRFLOW -> MANIFOLD PRESSURE SENSOR)
-LINK ECU 3 BAR ABSOLUTE MANIFOLD PRESSURE SENSOR
· CUSTOM TUNE: TUNED BY OUR DESIGNER/DRIVER DAN JAKIELA AND NOSTRUM HIGH PERFORMANCE
· EXHAUST SET UP: FULL CUSTOM 3” V-BANDED
· EXHAUST MANIFOLD: TWISTED MOTION (TOP MOUNT WITH EXTERNAL PORT)
· VALVE COVERS: AUTECH RB20 GTS-R EDITION
· FUEL PRESSURE REGULATOR: FORGE MOTORSPORT DIGITAL
· INTAKE MANIFOLD: DEEPMOTOR INTAKE MANIFOLD (90MM THROTTLE BODY)
· FUEL SYSTEM: E85/FLEX FUEL SET UP- NOSTRUM HP
-FUEL INJECTORS: NOSTRUM HP (950CC)
-FUEL CELL: REAR MOUNTED 8 GALLON CELL WITH SURGE TANK
-FUEL PUMP: TWIN MOSTPLUS 380LPH PUMPS
-FUEL LINES: -8AN BRAIDED FUEL LINES
-FUEL PRESSURE REGULATOR: FORGE MOTORSPORT DIGITAL
· COOLING SYSTEM:
-INTERCOOLER: MISHIMOTO R-LINE INTERCOOLER
-RADIATOR: REAR MOUNTED MISHIMOTO DUEL PASS RADIATOR
-RADIATOR FANS: MISHIMOTO 12” HIGH-FLOW RACE LINE FAN
-COOLANT OVERFLOW TANK: MISHIMOTO RACING COOLANT OVERFLOW TANK
-WIRING HARNESS: CUSTOM WIRING SPECIALTIES PRO RACE HARNESS
WIDEBODY, EXTERIOR, & INTERIOR
· BODY UPGRADES & DETAILS:
-CUSTOM EURO WIDEBODY
-CUSTOM 6 IN. SIDE SKIRTS
-DTMFIBERWERKZ REAR LIP SPOILER
-HOOD VENTS: STIM TECH CUSTOM E30 ALUMINUM VENTS
-PAINT: AUDI MERLIN PURPLE
-CUSTOM VINYL WRAP: METALLIC SILVER (ALL VINYL PRINTED IN-HOUSE)
-FRONT END: FULL CUSTOM TUBULAR FRONT END
-ROLL CAGE: CUSTOM 8 POINT ROLL CAGE
-SEATS: NRG FRP-RS600M RACING
-SEAT BRACKETS: GARAGISTIC (BILLET)
-SEAT-BELTS: NRG INNOVATIONS
· CAR LIGHTS:
-FRONT: HARLEY DAVIDSON AFTERMARKET LED’S
-REAR: BLACKOUT E30 TAIL LIGHTS (BLACK EXTERIOR, RED ALUMINATION)
-WHEELS: APEX SM-10 (18X10.5)
-FRONT: 20MM 5X120 – 5X120, REAR: 6″ 4X100 – 5X120
TRANSMISSION & SUSPENSION
· TRANSMISSION SET UP:
-TRANSMISSION: SAMSONAS H PATTERN DOGBOX
-CLUTCH: SPEC STAGE 5 CERAMIC CLUTCH
-FLYWHEEL: CLUTCH MASTERS LIGHTWEIGHT RB25 STEEL
-TRANSMISSION MOUNTS: CUSTOM
-DRIVESHAFT: CUSTOM FAST SHAFTS 1 PIECE DRIVE SHAFT
-REAR DIFFERENTIAL: BMW 4.10 RATIO
· SUSPENSION SET UP:
-COILOVERS: DGR CUSTOM FULLY ADJUSTABLE RACE SUSPENSION
-LOLLIPOP BUSHINGS: TREEHOUSE RACING
-ADJUSTABLE TOP HATS: SLR ADJUSTABLE TOP HATS
-DRIFT ANGLE KIT: SLR ULTRA DRIFT ANGLE KIT
-STEERING RACK: BMW Z3 CLOSE RATIO STEERING RACK
-REAR END BUSHINGS: FULL REAR REVSHIFT KIT
BRAKES & MISC.
· BRAKE SYSTEM SETUP:
-BRAKE CALIPERS: E46 FRONT CALIPERS, TWIN E30 REAR CALIPERS
-BRAKE PEDALS: WILWOOD BRAKE, CLUTCH, AND THROTTLE PEDAL ASSEMBLY
-BRAKE CYLINDERS: WILWOOD COMPACT ALUMINUM MASTER CYLINDER
-BRAKE LINES: -3AN STAINLESS BRAIDED
-REAR BRAKES: DUAL OEM HYDRAULIC CALIPERS
-HAND BRAKE: REMOTE MOUNT STIM. TECH HYDRAULIC BRAKE
-GAUGE SETUP: LINK ECU CUSTOM GAUGES, MICROSOFT SURFACE
-O2 SENSORS: INNOVATE MOTORSPORTS WIDE-BAND O2 SENSORS
-BATTERY: ODYSSEY EXTREME SERIES RACING BATTERY
-TIRES: NEXEN SUR4G 255/35ZR18
-POWER-TRAIN LUBRICANTS: LUCAS OIL
Link ECU Build of the Week #10 – 1986 TransAm American Muscle
Flair, performance and a touch of retro.
There is a lot to love about this 1986 TransAm.
The car is a perfect combination of American Muscle and 80’s styling, topped off with a nice 400 horsepower V8 engine to really get those nostalgic juices flowing.
Owned by Rick from Superior Soobie & Import LLC (SSI), a Link ECU Dealer, this F-body is particularly special with a livery that emulates a GTA-5 version of the car on Grand Theft Auto: the Imponte Ruiner.
Already regarded as the Top Dog of the Firebird lineup, the standard Pontiac TransAm set-up was not enough for Rick who has given the car a bit of modern love.
SSI has built the custom 350 small block Chevrolet engine with a 97 Vortec long block. It also features Vortec iron heads with 1.6 exhaust valves, a COMP NX276HR 276/288 split duration nitrous camshaft and PAC 1218 Beehive valve springs.
Stock pistons, stock PM rods, a stock crank remain housed in the engine.
A custom exhaust and aftermarket engine management package go on to play a part in the performance upgrades.
A new G4X XtremeX ECU is the weapon of choice for engine management. A lot of the original wiring has been retained, with a plug’n’play adapter harness connecting the Link XtremeX to the stock 1986 TPI harness.
Rick compliments the way this set-up works: “I love the ease with which the LINK handles the stock harness and sensors. The programmability of the LINK hardware and software allows endless combinations of inputs and outputs and the new G4-X has improved tremendously on the software logic options for configuration. It’s “Extremely” impressive that the LINK is able to work seamlessly with 35 year old GM sensors and protocols and speaks to the attention to detail of the design engineers. It’s such a unique and powerful hardware and software tuning solution, that we really don’t want to use anything else!
Upgrading to the Link Aftermarket ECU was a smart decision for Rick, putting and end to the time consuming chip programming and troublesome emulation tools that had been behaving unpredictably.
“The simple, reliable USB interface of the LINK G4 Extreme-X is impressive in it’s seamless simplicity and robust reliability and I am confident that whatever upgrades the future holds for this car or the next one I install the LINK in, it will handle them with the same ease.” – Rick C., Owner/Lead tech/Tuner, SSI – Portland, Oregon.
Engine: Custom 400 HP 350 SBC by SSI:
· 97 Vortec long block. Stock pistons, stock PM rods, stock crank, ARP hardware.
· Vortec iron heads with 1.6 exhaust valves.
· Comp NX276HR 276/288 split duration nitrous camshaft.
· PAC 1218 Beehive valve springs.
· FIRST fuel injection TPI manifold.
· Dyno Don F body headers. 1-7/8” primaries.
· Full custom 3” exhaust.
· 42lb Deatschwerks LS1 injectors.
· 255 LPH Deatschwerks fuel pump.
· Deatschwerks fuel pressure regulator.
Management: LINK Extreme-X with plug-and-play harness adapter for use with stock 1986 TPI harness. The adapter allows the use of the entire factory harness, stock distributor and ignition system, and all stock sensors (TPS, IAT, CTS, IAC, etc). Only changes required were wiring in the GM 3-bar map sensor to original MAF input (3 wires), and bypass external knock control module (1 wire) since the LINK has built-in knock control.
Transmission: 1992 Ligenfelter stage 5 700R4 with B&M Holeshot 3000 stall converter
Final drive: Borg Warner M78 9-Bolt with 3.70 gears and Torsen.
Body: Panelwork and Paint by SSI
Imponte Ruiner graphics by B&R Sign and Design
RX7Link PlugIn ECU Spotlight
Rotaries. You either love, or hate them.
The distinct triangular rotor design makes for a unique noise and huge amount of power for the engine size.
Here at Link, we offer electronic engine management for rotary vehicles via our two ECU options. Firstly, our WireIn ECUs can control most manual, rotary engines on the market today. Secondly, within our infamous selection of PlugIn ECUs, the RX7Link is a great option for the Mazda RX7 rotary.
The Mazda RX7Link is a true Plug and Play solution for this unique vehicle. The RX7Link fits in to the factory enclosure in the factory location in Mazda RX-7 FD3S ‘Batman’ Series 6, 7 and 8 cars with the 13B-REW engine.
In fact, we have two different RX7 PlugIns available; one for the Series 6 (FD3S 1992–1995) and another for series 7 (FD3S 1992–1995) models.
Image by Force-Fed Performance
Both the series 6 and series 7 RX7 PnP units are now supplied as G4X units only. This is Link’s latest generation of ECUs, which offer 512 megabytes of data-logging, better acceleration and a faster processor.
The RX7 PlugIn ECUs work with naturally aspirated, parallel twin turbo or single turbo set-ups.
Although the factory sequential turbo control is not supported, full electronic boost control with enhanced features is incorporated for control of single turbo or parallel twin turbo conversions.
The ECU retains all other features of the car, such as operating the air conditioning, tacho and the fuel pump.
Some added benefits of the RX7Link include:
-The ability to set-up Motorsport features such as launch control, traction control and flat shifting
-The ability to set-up safety features using limits such as Engine Temperature Dependent Progressive Limiting, selectable fuel timing and optional hard cuts
-Open or Closed Loop Boost Control
-5D boost control with three switchable tables
-512 MB data logging capability
While the RX7Link comes loaded with a start-up engine map, this is just enough to get your engine running. To get all the features listed above working and your car running optimally (especially considering the aftermarket turbo you have probably installed), taking your car to a Link Dealer to have the ECU installed and dyno tuned is ideal.
A Link Dealer will also be able to provide you with some additional extras such as an XS Loom. The XS loom will allow for more inputs/outputs (listed below) so your car can run more features. A Link MAP sensor may also be a good option for your car, replacing the factory one.
Extra sensor inputs
The easy connection of additional ECU input is possible via the expansion connector on the Link G4X board. The expansion connector provides:
-1 digital inputs
-2 analogue voltage inputs
MAP sensor options
-The factory MAP sensor can be used
-MAP through Expansion Connector is possible. The expansion connector provides power, ground, and analog
channels for the connection of a MAP sensor.
Darryl Curran’s 1999 Mazda FD RX7 “TSKBA7” in New Zealand makes great use of the RX7Link:
“Built for Time Attack but to be kept street legal. Previously 310rwhp factory twin turbo with light mods but now going through full rebuild to Single BW EFR9180 Turbo with aim of 550rwhp and probably broken gearboxes and diffs. Link ECU plug in ECU and supporting fuel system.”
– Have a look at the RX7Link Product listings here.
– To purchase your RX7Link, find a Link ECU dealer here.
Build of the Week #10 – Rocketbunny Turbo MX5
Previously destined for the scrap yard, this MX5 is now almost ready to hit the track!
UK based owner, Emma Crombie, has not only lavishly customised the exterior look of her Rocketbunny turbo Mx5, she has undertaken a complete overhaul of the interior, suspension, brakes and engine. The 1992 Mazda MX-5 Eunos has recently had a brand new forged turbo engine transplanted into it. Designed with track events and drifting in mind, you really have to admire Emma’s ambition and passion, which is well represented in this project.
The build has been in progress for three years so far and is now at the ‘run in’ stage. Once the fresh engine has some miles on it, Emma will look at hitting the track for some events later this year.
Considering the condition the car was purchased, it has required a huge effort to get the build to this stage. Emma recalls: “I bought the car for £100 with wood blocks wedged in the suspension to move it around. It was ready for the scrap yard. Now, it has been transformed and has a massive spec list”.
Before: Ready for the scrap yard
After: Almost ready to hit the race track
The forged engine build sees the head skimmed and the block bored out 0.5mm, along with the forged Williams rods, a lightened and balanced crankshaft and a Subaru TD04 turbo. This work has been done by Skuzzle Motorsport Ltd; who believe the engine could achieve 500bhp. Emma is looking for a little less horsepower than that, however. “With the current turbo, I will be looking to see 280bhp. I plan on upgrading the turbo in due course to achieve a safe 360bhp.”
The custom made exhaust system sees a twin shotgun style exit out the rear of the car. A Mishimoto radiator and intercooler also feature.
In addition to the engine and exhaust modifications, the transmission, brakes and engine management have all been upgraded. A Link Mx5 PlugIn ECU is now in charge of controlling the huge increase in horsepower due to all the modifications. Skuzzle Motorsport will programme the ECU with a ‘run in map’ over the next few weeks and then eventually the car will be dyno tuned and mapped to its full potential.
“The car is having new things added to it every week so it’s very much a work-in-progress still, but will be ready to use the beginning of July” Emma adds.
Forged Engine build 1.6:
-Head skimmed, block machined- bored out 0.5mm, Supertech pistons, forged Williams rods, lightened and balanced crank, king racing and ACL bearings, ARP main and head bolts and studs, cometic gaskets, Billet oil pump, Bosch ev14 650 injectors, Link G4+ ECU. Subaru TD04 turbo, custom made manifold and downpipe. Full custom made 2.5″ exhaust system with twin shotgun style exit.
-Engine reassembled by Skuzzle Motorsport LTD (they will also be running the engine in and putting a base map).
-1.8 ACT 6 puk clutch, 1.8 6 speed box, torsen 4:1 differential.
Brakes & suspension:
-Wilwood brake upgrade, grooved disks, Hel brake lines.
-HSD monopro coilovers (bought these early on, will probably be one of the first things I change over once the car is used)
-Polybushed all round.
-Destroy or Die front bumper, adapted Rocket Bunny arches. Ducktail still to add.
-Custom made iridium backed headlights, (on the way Carbon Miata latest sidelights), Carbon Miata bonnet.
-Colour- 1950’s VW dove blue, with a custom smoothed white holographic glitter engine bay.
-Watanabe wheels 16×9.5 et-35 Falken ZE310 tyre’s.
-Cage to be installed, built by Caged Laser. NRG prisma bucket seats, Nrg harnesses, NRG steering wheel, AEM electronics guages, custom carbon door cards, crash pad, digidash.
Build of the Week #9 – 13B Rotary VW Drag Car
This VW Beetle certainly turns heads flying down the quarter mile!
The neat project which was recently completed, is based in Tauranga, New Zealand. Owners David and Lindie Du Toit have done all the work themselves. David now competes in the car at local events and its fair to say, things are going very well.
This is a completely custom built project car, based on the shape of a VW Beetle and using a tube-frame chassis.
Check out the specifications below.
Make: VW Beetle
Modifications: Full tube chassis, custom built drag car. (not street legal)
Model: N/A –the VW has been completely transformed and apart from the shape nothing is VW
Year: (1970 style VW) but complete rebuild 2017
Engine: 13B JC Turbo Rotary by Dyno Power
Engine Management: Link Fury ECU
Colours: DNA Fucia pink candy
*Iwith ladder-bar rear end Green Brother’s built Ford nine-inchdiff with a chromoly full spool and 35-spline Moser axles.
*The front suspension features Strange struts and chromoly arms.
*The roll cage was built to see the car into the 7-second zone and coated in a red candy clear with a marble-like effect.
*Weight is to be expected round the 700kg mark thanks to a one-piece fibreglass front end, doors, fenders and boot lid. All the panels are Zeus clipped to the frame for easy removal.
*There is a very serious methanol-drinking 13B sitting up front (based on a JC Cosmo engine) built up by Dyno Power using lightened S4 RX 7 Rotors, stage two porting and a full dowel kit.
*The Turbo is a custom 83-mm BorgWorner S400 with eight 2400cc injectors that will feed the meth from a small front mounted tank.
*Tremec TKO 600 supplied by Green Brothers with a steel bellhousing and McLeod eight-inch clutch.
Link MXG Dashes now available
Link ECU is pleased to present the Link MXG Strada 7″Dash Display to the market.
Two versions of the Link MXG Strada 7″ Dash Display, powered by AiM Technologies, are now available for purchase via all Link ECU Dealers!
Both the Link MXG Race version and the Link MXG Street version are pre-configured to work with all Link G4+/G4X Wire-In and Plugin ECU’s. Each Dash features customisable shift lights, a library of preset display styles and a high contrast 7” TFT screen display.
The Link MXG Strada dash is extremely easy to use, with buttons on the side to navigate through a library of preset display styles, depending on what information you want to see and in what layout. The screen can display all real-time information reading from the ECU such as RPM, speed, water temperature, oil pressure and much more.
The Link MXG connects directly to your Link ECU via the pin kit and wiring provided in the box.
To use with plugin ECU’s – CANPCB and CANF connectors will be required (Purchased separately).
The dash can be personalised via Link ECU PC Link and Aim Technologies Race Studio 3 software. Updating to the latest AiM Technologies Race 3 Studio software on a regular basis is vital.
These two versions of this larger display model available alongside the Link MXS 5″ dashes. The MXG has two extra icons on the display face compared to the 5″ version.
For pricing and purchasing information about our Dash Display range, contact a Link ECU Dealer here.